From the book “IS IT TO BE Terminal Alienation Or Transformation For The Human” by Jeremy Griffin.
Griffin writes about how it is almost a universal phenomenon for humans to be born into this experience of life in a state of intense sensitivity, that is life itself. He proposes that at sometime in the younger years the individual has a reaction to this as they discover the truth of what life is as humans have created it to be beyond the wonder and mystery. Griffin refers to the reaction of resignation that arises from an inability to cope with the suffering that is the reality. The sensitivity is a part of being awake to life but the resignation arises from awareness of what the human race has become and what they as individuals are becoming and have become. The only alternative is a state of sleep where the truth can be avoided. What else are they to do at this point in life.
I have included an excerpt from the book.
In his best-selling 2003 book, Goya, about the great Spanish artist Francisco Goya, another Australian, Robert Hughes, who for many years was TIME magazine’s art critic, described how he ‘had been thinking about Goya…[since] I was a high school student in Australia…[with] the first work of art I ever bought…[being] a poor second state of Capricho 43… The sleep of reason brings forth monsters… [Goya’s most famous etching reproduced above] of the intellectual beset with doubts and night terrors, slumped on his desk with owls gyring around his poor perplexed head’. Hughes then commented that, ‘glimpsing The sleep of reason brings forth monsters was a fluke’ (pp.3, 4). A little further on, Hughes wrote of this experience that ‘At fifteen, to find this voice [of Goya’s]—so finely wrought [in The sleep of reason brings forth monsters] and yet so raw, public and yet strangely private—speaking to me with such insistence and urgency…was no small thing. It had the feeling of a message transmitted with terrible urgency, mouth to ear: this is the truth, you must know this, I have been through it’ (p.5). Again, while the process of Resignation is such a horrific experience that adults determined never to revisit it, or even recall it, Hughes’ attraction to The sleep of reason brings forth monsters was not the ‘fluke’ he thought it must have been. The person slumped at the table with owls and bats gyrating around his head perfectly depicts the bottomless depression that occurs in humans just prior to resigning to a life of denial of the issue of the human condition, and someone in that situation would have recognised that meaning instantly, almost wilfully drawing such a perfect representation of their state out of the world around them. Even the title is accurate: ‘The sleep of reason’—namely reasoning at a very deep level— does ‘bring forth monsters’! While Hughes hasn’t recognised that what he was negotiating ‘At fifteen’ was Resignation, he has accurately recalled how strong his recognition was of what was being portrayed in the etching: ‘It had the feeling of a message transmitted with terrible urgency, mouth to ear: this is the truth, you must know this, I have been through it.’ Note how Hughes’ words, ‘I have been through it’, are almost identical to Coles and Lawson’s words ‘I’ve been there.’
And so, unable to acknowledge the process of Resignation, adults instead blamed the well known struggles of adolescence on the hormonal upheaval that accompanies puberty, the so-called ‘puberty blues’—even terming glandular fever, a debilitating illness that often occurs in mid-adolescence, a puberty-related ‘kissing disease’. These terms, ‘puberty blues’ and ‘kissing disease’, are dishonest, denial-complying, evasive excuses because it wasn’t the onset of puberty that was causing the depressing ‘blues’ or glandular fever, but the trauma of Resignation. For glandular fever to occur, a person’s immune system must be extremely rundown, and yet during puberty the body is physically at its peak in terms of growth and vitality—so for an adolescent to succumb to the illness they must be under extraordinary psychological pressure, experiencing stresses much greater than those that could possibly be associated with the physical adjustments to puberty, an adjustment,
after all, that has been going on since animals first became sexual. No, the depression
and glandular fever experienced by young adolescents are a direct result of the trauma of having to resign to never again revisiting the unbearably depressing subject of the human condition.